What do you mean ‘headline’? Who the hell are you people?

Grant Hunter, Social Media Manager

Ladies and gentlemen I invite you to break from the norm and for a moment pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Avid Advance-Titan readers would see me and never recall a single story of mine.

Carter Uslabar / Advance-Titan
Grant Hunter served as The Advance-Titan’s Web Editor for the spring and fall 2020 semesters before transitioning into his current role as the publication’s Social Media Manager in spring 2021.

Well they’d be right; I don’t have any. In fact, this is the first piece I’ve ever written for the Advance-Titan, and it will likely be my last.

When it comes to the Advance-Titan, I have been that man behind the curtain, and stayed hidden there for quite some time. You’ve all seen me though on more than one occasion, you just have never seen me go by my own name.

Usually I go by one of several other names such as: “The Advance-Titan,” “theadvancetitan,” or “atitan.” Yep, I’ve been the “guy that does that!”

Anywhere from uploading stories and managing the website to running social media platforms and engaging people online has been my main gig for the past two years.

For working with a news organization, wouldn’t I want to be a reporter or an editor? No, not really. Personally, I much more enjoy being a fan than a writer. Joe Schulz saw that when he talked me into the A-T.

It was… *checks LinkedIn*… January 2020 at the bar in Molly Maguires when Joe and I were tipping back some of the worst beer we’d ever had when he mentioned to me that he was trying to find someone to help with the website, but no one wanted to do it.

It happened that the sort of thing he was asking fit right in with my major, the IWM major, and gave me a chance to get more experience.

We do things a little bit differently from journalists. Our primary focus is on all things internet; namely the intersection of business, technology and content creation.

After that I got to work pretty closely with the A-T’s advisor Barb Benish and learned everything about the website from the lead web editor at the time Lauren Reidinger.

It’s not as easy as you think uploading all those stories to a website! Sometimes we’d be at the computer for six hours. Writers write their stories for the paper, so reformatting story after story for the website was a time-consuming responsibility. At this point, Olivia, our web editor, is probably noticing I formatted this right to make it easy for her.

Through doing that, though, I gained a much deeper appreciation for the writers at the A-T and the stories they wrote. I’m sure there aren’t a lot of people who read every story from every writer, start to finish, every week.

Lately I’ve taken up the social media platforms as a chance to flex the other half of the IWM major’s muscles. I’m very happy to have successfully breathed new life into them. I think they’ll do just fine as days go on.

The weekly reports I sent out to the A-T’s editors always showed great promise and ended with some sort of totally unrelated quote that seemed so out of place that it was almost funny.

Featuring stories from writers is always a treat as well. On the backend of social media we can see the post interactions, and it’s great to see how much they get shared and how other people can become fans.

A particular favorite of mine is when writers take the post as an opportunity to share with their friends and family the work they’ve been doing.

I’m awkwardly aware of the fact that this story is going to end up on there also, but it won’t be me running this post.

Sami, I think you’re going to do great at taking over things here on social media. I know those analytics can be confusing but with good math skills, determination and some creativity you can get a lot more than numbers from them!

Olivia, you’re doing an incredible job with the website and making sure everything is where it needs to be. I never had a doubt that you’d become great at the job. I literally could not do my job without you.

For the both of you, running things from behind the curtain can be intense at times and exciting at others, but if you ever want to write a story, don’t hesitate to ask Cory how you can do that.

I’d like to thank Joe for getting me into this in the first place, I’m sure he’s read at least this far if he managed to find this. I’d like to thank Barb for being such a pleasure to work with, and here’s to hoping you get more that respond to emails as fast as I do!

Thank you all for giving this behind-the-scenes wizard a moment in the spotlight.

Can I plug the handles? I’m going to anyway. Follow us on Facebook! Find us on Instagram @theadvancetitan. Give our Twitter a follow @atitan. Go to our website and subscribe to our eNewsletter!